The Teranga Lions of Senegal has opened their Russia World Cup campaign with victory and clear three points in a 2-1 defeat of Poland in a hard fought battle in Moscow.
The Senegalese brushed aside the prominence of Lewandoski to stamp their supremacy forcing Thiago Cionek to provide them an own goal in the 37th minute before the break and Torino of Italy’s M’Baye Niang raiding the tally 2- 0 in the 60th minute.
Poland managed to pull one back through Krychovak who headed a free kick in the 86th minute to leave scores at 2-1 after added four minutes.
The result provides the First cheer for the Confederation of Africa Football after its other four representatives were all defeated in their opening games.
Africa began its contest with Morocco falling 1-0 to Iran. Egypt followed with a 1-0 lost to Uruguay while Nigeria fell 2-0 to Croatia while Tunisia followed with 1-2 loss to England.
Senegal withstood last minutes pressure by Poland to equalise and could even have raised the tally to three goals at about the 80th minute when Senegal’s striker, Ismaila , was pushed down goal bound but the referee ignored their calls for a penalty.
Russia 2018 marks Senegal’s second appearance at the FIFA World Cup but their performance is not surprising going by the records of their first appearance in Korea/Japan 2002 where they progressed to the quarter final. They defeated France 1-0 in their opening game and subsequently drew Denmark 1-1 and Uruguay 3-3.
They followed up with 2-1 victory over Sweden in the round of 16 before falling 1-0 to Turkey in the quarter final. The highly celebrated squad captained by Aliou Cisse of Montpellier paraded the likes of one time African Footballer of the Year El Hadj Diouf and Khalilou Fadiga.
With 3 points from their first game, Captain Cheikhou Kouyaté who plays for Westham, England, Liverpool Sadio Mané and rest of the Senegalese Squad will beam with confidence when they match out against Japan on Sunday and Colombia by upper Thursday to complete their group games.
It is also hoped that the other African representatives will find inspiration in the fact that Senegal has once again destroyed the jinx opened the door for brightness into African football at the Russia 2018 World Cup.
Especially, Senegal’s victory coming a few minutes before Egypt filed out against hosts Russia for their second test should serve as a booster for the Pharoahs.